Fairfax County Park Authority Earth Day Event, April 22nd

Image: Courtesy of Fairfax County Park Authority

Saturday, April 22, 2023
10:00 AM –  4:00 PM
Sully Historic Site
3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA 20151

Celebrate “Healthy People – Healthy Planet” with a fun day packed with entertainment, activities, food vendors, Touch-A-Truck and prizes and more! Come to Earth Day Fairfax 2023 and learn about what Fairfax County is doing to support environmental sustainability and what you can do to help!

Down load informational flyer here.

If you are an FMN volunteering at the FMN table:   Record service hours under E161: Earth Day/Arbor Day Outreach and education.


Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities, April and May

Photo: by FMN J. Quinn, Pohick Creek

Below is a list of the stream monitoring workshops and training opportunities located throughout the county:

Cub Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: April 9, 1:00-3:30pm
Where: Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Centreville

This spot is known for the beautiful Virginia bluebells that bloom at our stream site each spring. Participants often see a lot of mayflies too! Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

Sugarland Run Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, April 15, 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This stream site is known for the large number of Great Blue Herons that visit the site as well as a large number of crayfish found in our collection nets. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

Difficult Run Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, May 4, 4:00-6:30pm
Where: Difficult Run Stream Valley Park, Great Falls

This long-standing stream site has changed greatly in width, depth, and streambed composition since NVSWCD first began monitoring the site. You never quite know what you’ll find! Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

Horsepen Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Wednesday, May 17, 4:00-6:30pm
Where: Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This site has faced challenges in recent years including erosion and invasive bamboo. Join the NVSWCD as participants monitor Horsepen Run to assess stream health and learn about the environmental impacts on this stream. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here Resceduled from the original workshop date in March.

Wolftrap Creek Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, May 20, 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: Wolftrap Creek Stream Valley Park, Vienna

This stream site is one of NVSWCD’s newer sites, with easy stream access and often used as a site for VASOS field certification workshops. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

More Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

PocketMacros App – macroinvertebrate ID on Android and Apple

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) is very excited to contribute their stream data to state and national datasets. If you’d like to see data from all the NVSWCD regional stream monitoring team’s active sites, you can find NVSWCD organization on the Clean Water Hub.

Science Saturday: Box Turtles, May 13th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, May 13, 2023
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free

Registration is REQUIRED.

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

In 2022, a research project was started to study what habitats Box Turtles use at different times of year so that participants and other landowners can know what the best time of year is to mow fields and do other land management practices that might disrupt or even kill Box Turtles. On this second installment of Science Saturdays, participants will help get the 2023 season started by looking for turtles that were radio-tagged last year and potentially finding new turtles to tag. This is a special opportunity to tag along with our staff researchers and see how field science is done.


Spring Creatures of the Night, May 19th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Friday, May 19, 2023
8:00 – 9:30 pm
Cost: Free

Registration is REQUIRED.

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

Join this night-time exploration of The Clifton Institute’s trails and vernal pools while you listen for frog calls, look for insects, and see what animals are swimming on the ponds.

Introduction to Insects, May 27th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, May 27, 2023
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: $10 ($5 for Friends of the Clifton Institute)

Registration is REQUIRED.

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

Spend the afternoon with Education Associate Bridget Bradshaw learning about the bizarre and colorful world of our most diverse animal kin—the insects! The class will begin by covering basic insect biology and taxonomy at the peach house. The rest of the time will be spent catching and identifying insects from a smorgasbord of Clifton’s habitats like lush fields, leaf litter, and beaver ponds. Come ready to dig deep, get a bit dirty, and see eye to eye with the invertebrates who run the world. Please wear long pants and tall boots (like rain boots) and bring a water bottle! Nets, jars, and binoculars will be provided.


A Work Group Experience with Fairfax County Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Program

Photo: By Sara Tangren, Participants of March 21st work trip for the Fairfax County Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) program

Article by FMN Susan Martel

Photo: Corydalis incisa by Gary Fleming, Virginia Department of Natural Resources(throughBugwood.org)

FMN members and other volunteers took part in a work trip on March 21 as part of the Fairfax County Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) program to search for emerging invasive plants.  This trip focused on finding incised fumewort (Corydalis incisa), a member of the poppy family.  Naturalized populations were first reported in New York in 2005 and have slowly made their way through the mid-Atlantic region.  Led by FCPA staff member Jas Darby, the team of 10 found the invader in Difficult Run Trail near Leigh Mill-Ramey Meadows Park and mapped it over an area of 10 acres.  Pink flags and ribbons were used to delineate the extent of the spread, and photos were uploaded to iNaturalist to document its presence.  Control measures will now be directed at the plants the group found.


Identifying incised fumewort is tricky when not in flower, because it can be mistaken for a native species, C. flavula, which has a similar appearance.  A careful look at the sub-leaflets is required to discern the invasive species from the native species.  The sub-leaflets of the native plant has about 5-7 teeth or lobe tips whereas the invasive plant has two or three times the number (see line drawing below).  When in bloom, the two are easily distinguished because the flowers of C. incisa are purple and those of C. flavula are yellow.  Incised fumewort reproduces by seed capsules, which open explosively to spray small black seeds up to 10 feet away.  The goal of the EDRR program is to eradicate this and other early detection species by taking rapid action to prevent their spread.  Additional work trips are planned for April 10, 11, 17, and 18 at locations to be determined.  Use this link to sign up:  https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/custom/1380/opp_details/179794.





Line drawing of the two types of leaves by Sara Tangren, National Capital PRISM, CC BY.